First Calgary Financial presents the Be Local Award Winners!

Congratulations to the 2018 winners.

Click here

Be an Agent of Change!

Help local businesses grow with your next move.

Learn More

Be Local is brought to you by REAP.

We're an association for locally owned businesses that care about the community and the planet.

Learn More

Join our business network!

Become a member today.

Click Here

Living Locally

Take the $7 Challenge with Vibrant Communities Calgary

November 28, 2018

The $7 Challenge is Vibrant Communities Calgary’s latest campaign to put average Calgarians in the shoes of someone living on low income.

Vibrant Communities Calgary is the steward of the City of Calgary’s Enough for All poverty reduction strategy. By Vibrant Communities Calgary’s calculation, after removing basic need essentials like housing costs, all that remains for a person living below the poverty line is $7 a day. The $7 Challenge involves seeing how far one can go through their routine with just that much in their pocket – no credit cards allowed – and share their experience with others.

“It’s a simulation of sorts,” says Executive Director Franco Savoia. “To see what it’s like to live on or below the edge, and how tough it is to get by.”

Franco took on the simulation one day, and remarks that despite spending his professional life deep in the issues of poverty, the $7 Challenge had a profound psychological effect on him.

“I left home, and luckily I filled up the car days before. I’d wanted to go to the Rotary Club for lunch, but that’s at minimum $25 – which I didn’t have, so I couldn’t go.”

“Later that day, I had to go to a meeting and paid $4.50 for parking. All I had left was $2.50 to get through the day. I can’t say I now know exactly what life is like for people in poverty, but it gives you a sense.”

As Franco explains, one of the goals of Enough for All is “awareness leading to action” for poverty reduction, hoping to inspire Calgarians to make a difference within their spheres. Many on social media have claimed they don’t think they’d be able to complete the challenge themselves, but that’s the point.

The campaign is the result of an 18-month-long collaboration between Vibrant Communities Calgary, the digital marketing agencies Evans Hunt, V Strategies and Brookline Public Relations. The three organizations had been wracking their brains to create an engaging, lifelike simulation of poverty. Ideas included a “One-dollar Food Truck” where the only menu items were a cup of soup or a bologna sandwich – things that one could only afford on low-income. When living on low income, choices are limited and challenging on a daily basis.

“Numbers and statistics can be so cold,” he says. “We’re hoping this simulation captures people’s hearts and connects people in a deeper way than just reading another report.”


Take on the $7 Challenge for yourself and share your experience on social media or with your friends and family using the hashtags #7dollarsaday and #enoughforallYYC.
Check out Enough for All here for more information on poverty in Calgary.
Connect with Vibrant Communities Calgary on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Check out Vibrant Communities Calgary’s Sustainability Profile on the REAP directory.
Read More

Did you know?

Companies that value inclusion are 6x more likely to be innovative and effectively anticipate change, and 2x as likely to exceed financial targets

Featured Event

Appetite for Sustainability: Ensuring a Successful 2019

Dec. 12, 2018 - Dec. 12, 2018

Bea's Eatery
1023 9 Ave SE

As we approach the 2018 finish line, its time to reflect and celebrate the successes, learn from the challenges, and start goal planning for 2019 to ensure a rewarding year ahead.

Laura Bechard, a Business Success Strategist from ProVision Business Coaching will guide us through a series of planning exercises to set SMART goals. These are tools you can use throughout the year to keep you on track for reaching your objectives. Whether you want to develop personal skills, make meaningful connections, strengthen your business, or whatever it may be, let's work together to make it possible.

 About Laura: Business Success Strategist, Laura Bechard of ProVision Business Coaching knows first hand that successful businesses contribute to family harmony. Laura coaches, advises and educates business owners on business fundamentals so they can work less hours AND make more money.

The result? Lower divorce rates, happier families and checking things off your bucket list. Laura and her husband, Arnie, are 4th generation owner-operators of a century grain farm in Saskatchewan. Their newest venture and part of their succession plan, GreenGram Botanicals, is gearing up to construct a cannabis cultivation and processing facility in 2019. The Bechards have lived in Calgary for 10 years and have 4 adult children. An academic award-winning, top graduate MBA, Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified Business Coach, Laura leads you through the principles of how to

Set and achieve impactful goals
Master business and financial fundamentals
Exploit your niche
Leverage other people’s resources
Structure a team for growth

One of the keys to setting and achieving SMART goals is setting the RIGHT goals to move you towards what you’ve decided you MUST have in your life. Making careful selections of what you say “yes” to and what you say “no” to is vital in accelerating your progress.


8:00-8:30 am - Breakfast and Networking
8:30-9:30 am - Presentation & Interactive Goal-Setting Exercises
9:30-10:00 am - Wrap-up

Food: Breakfast will be provided, including gluten-free options.

Access: This venue is accessible to all people with limited mobility.

Parking: Street parking - both paid and free 2hr along 9th Ave SE and 10 St. SE Underground paid parking in the building Please visit for transit options

Registration: Payment is required at the time of your RSVP unless you wish to pay by Calgary Dollars. Please reserve one of these spaces by posting a comment below.

Proudly organized by REAP Business Association. Bullfrog Powered with 100% green electricity. The registration fee is required to cover REAP's ongoing costs to organize this event series: catering, promotional expenses (signage, Meetup organizer fees), insurance, and staff time.
more >

Did you know?

REAP businesses generate $21 billion in annual revenue